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Archive for July, 2013

I’m really late in posting this but it’s not too late — the guest chefs from Hyatt Regency Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, are still at Straits Kitchen this Ramadan till 8 August 2013! The specials are the spread of cold and hot mezze, a shawarma station complemented by grilled meat and seafood from the charcoal grill, and decadent cakes and pastries~

Though there’s also a variety of popular local dishes such as satay, beef rendang, chicken rice and laksa available, I only focused on the Middle Eastern section — the main reason why I was there in the first place. Hummus, muhammara, tabbouleh, labneh, baba ghanoush… Oh my, I was in mezze heaven! The muhammara was so good, way better than Artichoke’s! Everything else was pretty average, though K did sing praises of the Indian selection. Desserts like the traditional baklava and um ali (Egyptian version of bread pudding) were expectedly sweet, so I stuck to the homemade pandan kaya cake and coconut ice cream

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Ramadan at Straits Kitchen, The Royal Egyptian Way
Dinner: $68++ per person and $38++ per child (age 7 to 12 years)

My thanks to Patricia and Sandee for the invitation and great hospitality!

Straits Kitchen
Grand Hyatt Singapore
10 Scotts Road
6732 1234

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Violet Oon’s Kitchen

The last time a crab cake impressed the hell out of me was in 2010. Fast forward three years, Mezza9’s crab cakes have been replaced by one single jam-packed-with-crab crab cake from Violet Oon’s Kitchen in my heart. Pure crabby goodness without any potato filler, coated with such a light and thin outer batter, paired with a poached egg, this was perfect to me~

K’s breakfast burrito, on the other hand, was lousy. First, they forgot the scrambled eggs. Which was plain ridiculous! It’s like serving my crab cake benedict sans crab cake. Then they wrapped it in such a way that everything fell apart with just a bite. So messy and frustrating that he just gave up and abandoned it halfway. And it didn’t help that the meatless meatballs were more my kind of food than his…

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Vio’s Special Meatless Meatballs ($13++)
walnut and parmesan cheese balls, tomato gravy

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Crab Cake Benedict ($23++)
new orleans crab cake, poached egg, english muffin, hollandaise sauce

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Breakfast Burrito ($18++)
scrambled eggs, cheese, chorizo

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Violet Oon’s Kitchen
881 Bukit Timah Road
6468 5430

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Having been to The Halia at the Botanical Gardens and Raffles Hotel quite a few times (on my own and for media tastings), I can now conclude that I prefer the RH outlet! Casual ambience, fab location, and the menu has two of my Halia favourites: celeriac “lasagne” and mushroom, lentil and walnut bake (told you I’d love it!!)~ Tried some brunch offerings this time and I’m glad the dishes are so affordable, pretty much on par with “market” brunch prices (i.e. shelling out two digits for a couple of eggs). Must mention the soft fluffy pancakes and lovingly aromatic mushroom capellini, both of which managed to win me over though I’m not a pancake or pasta girl. Of course the veggies-lover in me likes the heirloom tomato; grilled breakfast is the usual big brekkie but of higher quality; and the overly starchy white bean chorizo stew was the only disappointment that bright early morning, yawn.

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Celeriac “Lasagna” ($12++)
mushroom, thyme, baby spinach, lemon, madeira cream

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Heirloom Tomato ($20++)
red pepper gazpacho, crouton, jamon iberico, balsamic

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Mushroom Capellini ($22++)
fresh winter truffle, herb oil

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Pancake ($12++)
bacon & maple butter, fresh strawberries and puree

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Grilled Breakfast ($23++)
any style eggs, pork sausage, sweetened bacon, portobello mushroom, vine tomato, toasted sourdough

*smile!*

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White Bean Iberico Chorizo Leek Stew ($16++)
egg sunny side up, smoked chipotle sauce, tomato, herbs

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Mushroom, Lentil and Walnut Bake ($24++)
fennel seed cream, sundried tomato, mesclun

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Big big thanks to Ivy from FoodNews for hosting brunch!

The Halia
#01-22/23 Raffles Hotel
1 Beach Road
9639 1148

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W39 Bistro & Bakery

We’ve been exploring quite a number of new places recently and W39 Bistro & Bakery is one of the few that’s really impressive! Given its too-ulu-for-an-eastie location and relatively low profile (for now), I was expecting it to be half-heartedly empty but it was packed and buzzing with life on a TGIF night!

The food was imo outstanding for a bistro/bakery — pretty much restaurant-standard but at café-ish prices! Best of both worlds right! Seared tuna was very thinly sliced but delish with a smartly-paired trio of avocado salsa, soy glaze and wasabi mayo. Definitely as memorable as the one from Big Fish Bistro~ Homemade crab cake was the weakest item we ordered; I didn’t like the thick batter and it was kind of dry. My main of grilled saba was fab — crispy skin and all, plus the chef was super generous with the soy-glaze-dressed spinach! Love. Roasted spatchcock took 20mins to arrive (we were fairly warned in advance) but the wait was worth it! K deboned and devoured the piping hot chicken within minutes while I kept stealing the roasted pumpkin off his plate, heh heh.

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Seared Tuna, Avocado Salsa, Soy Glaze, Wasabi Mayo ($12.50)

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Homemade Crab Cakes, Pickled Mayo ($12.50)

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Grilled Saba Mackerel, Soy Glaze, Wilted Spinach ($20)

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Roasted Spatchcock, Mushroom Gravy, Roasted Vegetables ($24.50)

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W39 Bistro & Bakery
39 Jalan Mas Puteh
9646 5372

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Muchachos

Muchachos is offering something we are all familiar with — Chinese popiah.

Just kidding.

A burrito bar with a Subway-like ordering system, Muchachos is purely American, not Mexican, and definitely not Chinese. The burritos are said to be “Mission-style” (Mission is a district in SFO) so expect huge servings! My made-to-order burrito was stuffed with three generous fillets of battered whitefish, a mixture of refried and black beans, and colourful pineapple salsa ($12). Slightly miffed that the guacamole was unavailable, boo. The texture was good but flavours were rather muted. Likewise, K’s slow-cooked pork carnitas burrito was monotonous (he’s not a fan of this place) and though it’s unfair, we couldn’t help reminiscing and pining for Pistola throughout our meal…

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Muchachos
22 Keong Saik Road
6220 0458

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Windowsill Pies

For past three weeks, K had the strangest craving for Windowsill Pies. I say strange because this guy has never lust for any dessert. Peculiar, but I guess all of us needs sugar in our lives once in a while.

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Happy to report that the pies are as awesome as before, and there’s still a good variety available at 10pm last night! Since I always want ALL, it was kind of hard to decide.. K helped by picking the Grasshopper Pie (in fact, he already informed me he wanted that while we were driving over) and the rest was up to me~

Chose the Coconut Lime Vodka ($8) and Caramel Chocolate ($7.50) in the end and I love them!! The former had too-sour-for-K-but-perfect-for-me lime curd and interspersed with wobbly cubes of vodka jelly, LOVE. Caramel chocolate was pudding-like and more bittersweet than toothache-sweet, despite the combination of caramel, custard and milk chocolate. And the grasshopper ($7.50)? Well, let’s just say K finally had his craving satisfied : )

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Windowsill in the Woods
78 Horne Road
9004 7827

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Strangers’ Reunion

Strangers’ Reunion is home to one of the best baristas in Singapore so a steaming cuppa java is what most people turn up for. Not a coffee girl so I can’t comment, though the aroma of caffeine in the air is strangely intoxicating, kind of like breathing in chocolate (if you don’t get what I mean, just ignore haha).

Other than the buttermilk waffles which made into my ‘top waffles’ list, I love the homemade yogurt muesli here too! The serving is too small for a proper indulgence so next time I’d offer to pay double for an “upsize”. There’s the usual eggs and sandwiches stuff on the menu so food is not lacking. Just be sure to drop by early before the crowd gets in!

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Magic ($5.50)
double ristretto and milk

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Artisan Greek Yogurt ($6.50)
with homemade muesli and fresh fruits

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Strangest B’Fast Ever ($18.90)
scrambled eggs, english muffin, ham, smoked salmon, maple dijon glazed bacon, shrooms

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Strangers’ Reunion
37 Kampong Bahru
6222 4869

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